Tag Archive | "LSU"

MobTown Sports Blog

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MobTown Sports Blog

Posted on 05 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Here’s a quick look ahead at the agenda for Monday on the MobTown Sports Beat:

 

Ravens Reaction

 

The Ravens are always on the table, especially on MSB Mondays. We’ll look back on the Ravens impressive and needed win over divisional rival Cleveland and have plenty of reaction.

 

A Nickel and a Nail

 

Five penny for your thought type topics of conversation and a nail for someone who deserves it.

 

#1 – BC-Mess or Oklahoma Statement

 

Despite an impressive thumping of the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, the Cowboys of Oklahoma State will be home watching the BCS title game like the rest of us. There’s little doubt that Alabama and LSU are the two best teams in the country, but do we really want to relive 9-6 snoozer that was the “game of the century” from just over a month ago? And how now can LSU lose a national title to Alabama after beating them on their own field in November and playing a much tougher out of conference schedule and the SEC title game? How much of this is due to the media’s inability to let go of their stated notion that Alabama was the best team in the country in the first place? Would LSU be getting this same opportunity if they had lost at home to Bama?

 

 

#2 – Tarheels are Baby Soft

 

They’re talented, there’s no doubt about that. The Tarheels are inordinately talented for a team in this the “one and done” era, the problem is that they seem to know it too. The juggernaut that Carolina looked to bring to the table after returning Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zellar and John Henson to fuse with the typical insurgence of Tarheel freshman talent so far has been anything but. After stumbling out of the gates last year only to turn it up for the stretch, Barnes looks to be making that his habit. Their talent will be enough to get them by on most nights, but when the real heat turns up, look for these Tarheels to wilt under the pressure like they did against Kentucky on Saturday. They appear poorly coached and at times altogether indifferent. Don’t believe the hype surrounding this Carolina team, as it appears that they themselves have already bought in too much.

 

#3 – NBA Free Agency to Begin on Monday?

 

Sort of at least…beginning on Monday it looks like teams will be free to at least make known their intentions and overtures to prospective free agents ahead of Friday’s projected final resolution in the lockout. Big men abound in free agency and no NBA team ever has enough of those. Greg Oden could be headed to the Heat, making him and them even more hated then each is already individually. Additionally, as “Big 3’s” are seemingly becoming en vogue, teams will be looking to fish or cut bait with a few marquee names that could quickly become trade fodder. Derron Williams, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard could all begin or end this season with new teams. And let’s not forget about Danny Ainge’s latest attempt to sabotage the Celtics. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of the Rajon Rondo trade rumors or their impact.

 

#4 – A.F.Seeding

 

The top end of the AFC all managed to hold serve on Sunday. Along with the Ravens win, the Steelers beat the Bengals 35-7, the Patriots beat the hapless Colts 31-24 and the Texans rallied behind TJ Yates for a 17-10 win over the fading Falcons, so the logjam continues at 9-3 atop the AFC.

 

Houston survived a tough opponent behind TJ Yates first start after losing Andre Johnson again mid-game in a scene eerily similar to the one that preceded his last hamstring injury and kept him out of action for several weeks, and Brian Cushing left early too. If it weren’t for bad luck, these Texans wouldn’t have any yet they still refuse to lose in this their ordained playoff season given the absence of Peyton Manning in the division.

 

The Raiders were blasted by the suddenly resurgent Dolphins 34-14 and coupled with another heroic Tim Tebow comeback effort, surrendered the top spot in the AFC West (by virtue of a tiebreaker) to Denver.

 

The Titans and Jets both picked up wins to pull even with Cincinnati in the race for the final wild card spot with the Bengalis still enjoying the benefit of the tiebreaker…for now.

 

#5 – Packers on a Roll

 

Green Bay survived its first real test of the season on Sunday when the Giants punched in a 2-point conversion to tie them with less than a minute remaining and one timeout for the Packers. We should have known on the kickoff that the Pack was about to do something special. Randall Cobb, who’s having a fine year, took a knee on the kickoff just a yard or so deep in the end zone, essentially conceding that taking time away from Aaron Rodgers and the offense, even a few seconds, would be unacceptable even for a return man adept at taking them to the house. Two plays later the Packers were in field goal range and the rest as they say was history.

 

If you’re giving me the Packers or the field today, I’ll still take the field but it’s getting tougher to do each week. You could argue that now isn’t the time to be playing your best football, but the Packers have been doing it since week 1 and still look to be improving. They’re much deeper than last year’s injury riddled bunch and now can count themselves battle tested too.

 

You’d almost like to get an L out of the way before the playoffs start, but if it’s going to happen for these Packers it looks like it’ll happen naturally, as they don’t seem to be slowing at all. Maybe the cursed Colts season has taught a lesson to anyone willing to take note, “embrace the 0, or the 0 will come get you”.

 

And the nail goes to the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti for their announcement to take their ball and go home, or more specifically to cancel indefinitely the Westminster training camp that had become engrained in the traditions of many a Ravens’ fan who can’t get to the stadium for actual games.

 

The move has money written all over it, in this immediate aftermath of the NFL lockout where we as a public were forced to endure the tug of war over an unfathomably fat cache of cash that we were all made too well aware of, that seems to be bad form.  The team will surely try to make it up to the fans somehow, but attempts will be feeble at best compared to the rite of passage that was Ravens training camp.

 

(While not a regular attendee at Ravens training camp myself, I certainly understand the loss that some are feeling. As a 38-year old Baltimore native, my only “real” memories of the Baltimore Colts began and ended with training camps at Goucher college)

 

It’s not lost on us, Mr. Bisciotti, that you’re the same guy who encouraged us to offset the season ticket price increase of a few years ago by selling our Patriots, Steelers and/or Colts tickets as they were doing very well on the secondary market. Clearly the real plight and point of view of the average fan is lost on the occupants of the owner’s box.

 

What’s not lost on Mr. Bisciotti is the ability to pass the buck, or more aptly to allow crap to roll downhill, as he did by calling it a football decision. By stating that the Ravens were a better football team when they practice at their Owings Mills facility the owner laid blame right at the coach’s feet even without saying quite that much.

 

The truth is, it’s hard to say whether the Ravens are better or worse when they don’t have a camp, as this is the first year without one and also a year anomalous in the annals of NFL history due to the lockout. Using this season, as a barometer to measure anything is pointless at best and more likely irresponsible.

 

I’ll agree that life is easier for the Ravens when they don’t have to pack up and move operations from Owings Mills to Westminster and back, but easy isn’t the road to NFL glory. Eight times per season the Ravens will have to pack up and prepare, at least in part, away from the castle, usually in makeshift conditions not ideally suited or built for the purpose of readying a team for a football game. That the Ravens have struggled in doing it this season may speak to the “preparation” they’d have gotten in camp, under similar conditions.

 

 The road to a Super Bowl is a tough one, and one that the Ravens took once already while holding camp in Westminster, and the team enjoys lots of cushy handouts and civic backrubs from fans who’ll never have the chance to set foot in the stadium for a game, to lock them out using the fortress that they in part financed is just wrong.

 

 

@ Me Back

 

3 random questions. Hit me with your answers on Twitter @Thyrl or @WNST, by email thyrl@wnst.net, or at 410-481-1570. Whatever you do, get back @ me.

 

@-1: Who are the top 5 on your #NFL rookie of the year ballot?

 

I’ll go Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, AJ Green, Torrey Smith & DeMarco Murray

 

@-2: Who would you seed 1-8 in a college football playoff?

 

Give me- #1 LSU, #2 Bama, #3 OK St., #4 Boise, #5 Stanford, #6 Arkansas, #7 Wisconsin, #8 Clemson/WVU play-in or Oregon if I have to pick 1.

 

@-3: Who looks the like the best college hoops team so far?

 

For me – Kentucky, Ohio State, UConn, Syracuse, Missouri…but there’s a lot of teams I haven’t seen yet and a bunch more I can’t wait to see again.

 

 

 

 

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Friday Mud is never “over the line!”

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Friday Mud is never “over the line!”

Posted on 02 December 2011 by Drew Forrester

December has arrived.

Another year nearly in the books.

But there’s still plenty of good stuff going on in these parts, starting with the big college football playoff game tomorrow at Johnny Unitas Stadium between Towson and Lehigh.  I’ll be there, for sure, and hope you will be, too.  I’ve followed Towson football for the better part of a decade now, so I’ve seen it all.  Lots of losses, some of them lopsided, and more than one or two moments where I said to myself, “What on earth am I doing coming over to here watch this debacle?”  But I stuck it out…because I like all of the local colleges, and I’ll get a mini-reward of sorts on Saturday when I get to witness the playoff game first hand.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Paul Hewitt in his initial visit to the Towson Center as he brings George Mason in to take on Towson Saturday evening.  If you’re going to the football game Saturday afternoon, keep your ticket stub in a safe place.  If you show it at the doors of the Towson Center, you get in the hoops game for free.

Sunday in Cleveland, the Ravens look to move to 9-3 against the Browns.  I won’t be there for that one.  I’m on a self-imposed refusal to visit Cleveland until the band RUSH is admitted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.  It’s probably not Cleveland’s fault, per-se, but someone has to be punished for quite possibly the great Hall-of-Fame oversight – sports, music, acting, etc. – in the history of the planet.  So…until RUSH gets in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, I will not set foot in the city of Cleveland.

All of this talk about the weekend reminds me…it’s time for Friday Mud.

—————————————————————————-

> The Orioles figure Dan Duquette is going to take them to the promised land.  I hope they’re right.  But I have a bad feeling they’re going to find out what we already know.  They’re going to FIND OUT THIS.

> After searching long and hard, I finally found two sexy female supporters of the Flyers.  I know what you’re thinking — “Come on Drew, we’ve seen this act before…you’re going to make us click on a picture of those two sexy Flyers fans and they’re going to both be dogs, literally.”  No, I’m not doing that, although I’ll admit it’s something I’ve done before.  You see, I’m turning over a new leaf.  I seriously have the girls who finished 1-2 in the recent “Miss Flyers” contest.  I do.  HERE IS THE GIRL who finished #2.  Go ahead, click on it.  You see, I’ve gone legit.  And if that little hottie was #2, what does #1 look like? SHE  LOOKS LIKE THIS.

> You knew that was coming.  And I know you laughed a little.

>  Glenn and I got into an interesting discussion on Thursday, tossing names back and forth of potential coaches at College Park in the event Maryland decides to jettison Randy Edsall.  I threw out three names and after much discussion, the guy I tabbed as a potential successor (and this is ALL just pie-in-the-sky-stuff, Edsall’s not going anywhere) for Edsall is THIS MAN right here, the current defensive coordinator at LSU, John Chavis.  Glenn went with THIS GUY.

>  I’m beginning to worry about the Ray Lewis toe injury.  Shouldn’t we at least be considering something dramatic for Lewis?  Maybe, even, toe replacement?  What?  You’ve never heard of toe replacement?  Yep, it’s happening everywhere now.  Hell, you want a toe…I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock.  Don’t believe me?  RIGHT HERE IS THE GUY who can get you the toe.  (NOTE: Language might not be safe for work or children)

> Capitals GM George McPhee called Dale Hunter last week while he was contemplating making a coaching change and asked Hunter to forward his resume’ over so he could share it with owner Ted Leonsis.  My spies down at the Verizon Center snagged the Hunter resume’ and I have it POSTED RIGHT HERE.  Hired.  On the spot.

>  My buddy Jerry Coleman – formerly of Fox 1370 – proves it…white men can jump, as HE SHOWS YOU RIGHT HERE.

>  It’s time for me to reveal #6 on my Top 10 “Winners” list over the last 20 years in professional team sports.  You’ll recall #10 was Drew Brees, #9 was Greg Maddux, #8 was Ray Lewis and #7 was Derek Jeter.  The man who is at #6 is a two-time champion and one of those once-in-a-generation athletes who defies the odds by not having the prototype skill set that is typically required from a player in his position.  This player actually fits the list to a tee, for he’s more of a winner than he is a great player.  Take him away from his team and they’re immediately a non-contender.  No sense in delaying it any further.  Number six on the list is a villain of ours in Baltimore, but the dude is a flat-out winner…period.  Introducing THIS MAN.

>  Gotta hand it to Dan Duquette.  He’s reportedly using some new and interesting tactics to woo potential big name free agents to Baltimore this winter.  In fact, his first move at the winter baseball meetings in Dallas was to give power-hitting first baseman Prince Fielder a night out on the Orioles team boat, SEEN RIGHT HERE…with all of the expenses for food, drink and boat captain picked up by the Orioles.  Nice touch, Dan.

>  Hey, if it works for Tim Tebow on the field, it might work for THIS GUY in his front lawn.  It’s worth a shot…

>  They’re gonna miss him coaching down in D.C.  Some folks thought he was over-rated, but I thought he was a guy who always got the best out of his players.  I like to remember him in the good times, LIKE THESE RIGHT HERE.

 

The shoot section (where I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…)

I need to take a minute to give recognition to the folks who attended last Saturday’s Towson basketball game that featured a visit from President Barack Obama and his family.  I was concerned leading up to the game that a few non-Obama supporters might spoil the day with booing or catcalls or even protest signs of some sort.  On the contrary, every single person in the facility showed the President the respect he and his family deserved.  Whether or not you agree with the decisions he’s made and whether or not you approve of the job he’s done thus far, standing and applauding him as he enters a public building is the proper way to greet the person in charge of our country.  It was refreshing to see the 3,000 people in the Towson Center stand in unison and welcome him in and then, again, as he was leaving at the game’s conclusion.  It was a great day for Towson University…and an impressive one for the people who treated the President with the respect he should get.

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 29 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Auto Racing-NASCAR Awards Show (Friday 9pm from Las Vegas live on SPEED); Golf: PGA Tour Qualifying School (Saturday & Sunday 4pm, Monday 3:30pm from La Quinta, CA live on Golf Channel), PGA Tour Chevron World Challenge (Thursday & Friday 1pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12pm live on NBC. All golf from Thousand Oaks, CA); Women’s College Basketball: Big Ten/ACC Challenge-Michigan @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ American (Sunday 1pm Bender Arena); Tennis: ATP Tour Davis Cup Final (Friday 8am Saturday 10am Sunday 7am from Seville, Spain live on Tennis Channel)

10. Andrea Bocelli (Friday 8pm Verizon Center); Erykah Badu (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Dashboard Confessional (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre); All Mighty Senators (Saturday 7pm 8×10 Club); Aaron Neville (Monday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Robin Thicke (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club); String Cheese Incident (Wednesday 8pm Lyric Opera House), Ryan Adams (Sunday 7:30pm Lyric Opera House); J. Roddy Walston & The Business (Friday 9pm Ottobar); Mac Miller (Thursday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Ra Ra Riot (Friday 7pm Ritchie Coliseum College Park); Tori Amos (Monday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Adele Live at Royal Albert Hall available on CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/iTunes (Tuesday)

I really shouldn’t like Robin Thicke all that much. I just can’t help myself…

Dude, Ryan Adams has made so many great tunes but are any of them greater than this?

I feel like I should be a bigger J Roddy Walston fan than I am…http://wnst.net/wordpress/wp-admin/post.php?post=185164&action=edit

I don’t know if Adele sounds BETTER at Royal Albert Hall…but I know this much…no CHANCE she doesn’t sound amazing…

9. Washington Monument Lighting (Thursday 7pm from Mt. Vernon Place live on WBAL11), Mayor’s Christmas Parade (Sunday 2pm Hampden/Medfield); Gary Valentine (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Steve-O (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Jim Norton (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House)

Is there any chance that when Stephanie Rawlings-Blake flips on the lights at the monument the scene looks anything like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ar-__ub0rc

And since I’ve already invoked Christmas Vacation, I think it’s only appropriate that we do this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY

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The 15-7-0 Is Feeling Rather Presidential This Week

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The 15-7-0 Is Feeling Rather Presidential This Week

Posted on 28 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. The Towson University football team didn’t play a game this weekend, but somehow it will likely go down as the greatest of their lives.

The scene at the Towson Center Saturday afternoon rivals some of the most incredible I’ve seen in Charm City sports history, but sports had very little to do with it.

The most special moment of the visit from President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama (Michelle’s brother Craig Robinson is the head coach of the Oregon State team that crushed the Tigers Saturday afternoon) came at halftime.

Athletic Director Mike Waddell introduced Head Coach Rob Ambrose & the CAA Champion football team, who were enjoying a week off as they prepared for their FCS playoff showdown with Lehigh next Saturday at Unitas Stadium. The President walked out to greet the team, then posed for a picture to the absolute delight of the young men.

It was the type of moment that induces chills. Wow.

2. I’m really jealous of the Cincinnati Bengals for having AJ Green on their roster.

Oh, and Jermaine Gresham too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFByq1hpVGE

They duo (and Cincy QB Andy Dalton) were vital in the Bengals’ come from behind win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday in a game that judging by the attendance no one in the Queen City knew was happening…

Can’t help but notice a few empty seats in the background there, gang. This is a team fighting for AT LEAST an AFC Wild Card spot, not completely out of the AFC North race. This is the best you can do? Maybe “Los Angeles Bengals” has a nice ring?

Since we’re here, here’s a picture of Colt McCoy Tebowing…

3. Rob Gronkowski is not the only reason the Patriots are good, but something tells me there’s a correlation between 11 TD catches and a 6’6″ frame.

To be fair, the way New England was playing Sunday it’s possible a 4’6″ receiver could have caught a TD from Tom Brady Sunday at The Linc…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwO47-nf1lM

Vince Young threw for 400 yards in the defeat, basically because he had no choice but to throw the football every time the Philadelphia Eagles had the ball.

That SHOULD put the final nail in Philly’s “Dream Team” coffin. Andy Reid’s has been sitting open for awhile now outside the City of Brotherly Love. Will it be nailed down as well? We’ll see.

4. Robert Griffin III’s injury might be just enough to default the Heisman Trophy back to Andrew Luck somehow.

The other candidate in the mix (and perhaps the frontrunner) is Alabama RB Trent Richardson, but we’ll get back to him.

After an incredible performance a week earlier against Oklahoma, the Baylor QB might have been one more spectacular performance away from locking up the chance to hear his name called in New York in two weeks. Unfortunately, RG3 was taken out of the game in the second half (probably for a concussion) and had to watch the second of the Bears’ win over Texas Tech from the Cowboys Stadium sideline…

So…Stanford QB Andrew Luck (the preordained winner of the Heisman before the season) was back in the picture with the chance to lock the thing up. Luck was good but not great in the Cardinal’s win over Notre Dame and left the thing up for grabs again.

As I searched YouTube for a recap video of Luck’s final game at Stanford Stadium I believe a Fighting Irish fan summed it up well by channeling M*A*S*H…

I don’t even know what that means!

The (regular) season is over for Richardson so he won’t have another chance to make a statement. Luck’s Cardinal don’t get another chance either since Oregon won the Pac-12 North. Baylor will play host to Texas next week in Waco, but Griffin’s status is up in the air due to his injury.

If none play again, I think I’d vote Luck. Someone will yell at me for that. Go ahead.

5. Houston is a Conference USA Championship Game win over Southern Miss away from playing in a BCS Bowl.

Fourth on the list (of three) candidates to win the Heisman is Cougars QB Case Keenum, who shredded Tulsa Friday in a manner similar to the way he’s shredded everyone else he’s played this season.

If the Cougars top the Golden Eagles in next week’s C-USA title game, they’ll become the first ever team from the conference to make a BCS bowl. Teams from the WAC and Mountain West have played BCS buster, but never C-USA.

Someone will call the occasion “historic”. Those people won’t really know what the word historic means.

6. Another reason why I like Tim Tebow? Sabermetricians would hate him.

He effing did it again, huh?

You know what’s the ONLY THING IN THE WORLD that could make us not spend the entire week talking about the Denver Broncos’ QB? How about a picture of San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak peeing on the sidelines at Qualcomm Stadium?

Thanks CBS!

7. Mark Sanchez also really pissed off a lot of haters Sunday.

The New York Jets’ QB threw for four TD’s, including a game winner to Santonio Holmes in their win over the Buffalo Bills…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJtRuC19Ab8

We’ll of course remember the game as the time Bills WR Stevie Johnson insisted on making a complete ass out of himself…

…again.

Dan Marino was asked about what he thought of Sanchez Sunday, but he was too busy checking out Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge’s boobs to respond…

And here’s my cue to post another VS picture of Aldridge…

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 22 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour World Cup of Golf (Wednesday-Saturday 10:30pm from Shenzhen, China live on Golf Channel); Boxing: Canelo Alvarez vs. Kermit Cintron (Saturday 10:30pm from Mexico City, Mexico live on HBO); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 59 (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on MTV2); College Soccer: NCAA Tournament Louisville @ Maryland (Sunday 5pm Ludwig Field); Women’s College Basketball: St. Joseph’s @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm Comcast Center)

10. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (Friday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); The Bridge Farewell Show (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Staind (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live), Reel Big Fish/Streetlight Manifesto (Monday 6pm Rams Head Live); Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Recher Theatre); Airborne Toxic Event (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), They Might Be Giants (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Leon Russell (Tuesday 8:30pm State Theatre); Kirk Franklin (Saturday 7pm Lyric Opera House); Daughtry “Break The Spell” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I can’t go to Bob Seger Friday night. It’s an incredibly long story (my family celebrates holidays a day late) that I don’t want to talk about. But in honor of the festive weekend, I’ll just go ahead and assume he’ll break out “Little Drummer Boy”…

I can’t believe this is the last time Cris Jacobs and the boys from The Bridge will be playing together. It’s almost impossible. The show is sold out. I might tear up a bit.

I don’t know if I’m an Airborne Toxic Event “fan”, but I know I’m a fan of this tune…

Kirk Franklin is a legendary gospel performer. In one of the most inexplicable moments in music history, he had a smash hit on MTV/Pop radio in 1997. You know you know the words…

9. Glenn Clark’s Thanksgiving Plans (Thursday); Festival of Trees (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Thursday 9am from New York live on NBC); The Muppets & “Arthur Christmas” out in theaters (Tuesday); Judah Friedlander (Friday & Saturday DC Improv)

I spent much of my adolescence wanting to be Fozzie Bear. If you don’t sing along to this you’re just a bad person…

Also, I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with the Clark family, but I’ll admit I’m a bit confused by why it is that my mother has requested my girlfriend bring buffalo chicken dip to dinner this year. It’s just kinda weird. Whatever we consume, I know one thing. This Saturday I’ll be enjoying a “Thanksgiving Sandwich.” Wheat bread, turkey, potatoes and barbeque sauce. It sounds weird to you, but trust me on this one.

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shanahan

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The 15-7-0 Of The Century

Posted on 07 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. If you have to make a trip to Orono, Maine you might as well go ahead and get a victory.

Which is what I guess the Towson Tigers figured they would do to move back into a first place in the CAA…

Terrance West ran all over the Black Bears, much like he’s done to everyone else in the conference. Towson has a completely legitimate chance to win the conference. I almost can’t believe I’m typing that.

2. Julio Jones did something Sunday you’re not capable of.

The Atlanta Falcons traded away many things to get this man on their team. If he keeps playing like he did against the Indianapolis Colts it will go down as one of the greatest decisions in National Football League history…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yNx7EyDECQ

As far as Indy in concerned, things have gotten so bad that at one point QB Curtis Painter threw two forward passes on the same play. No really, this actually happened. He wears the same number as Bert Jones. That’s where the similarities end.

3. Remember when the New York Giants and San Diego Chargers swapped Eli Manning & Phillip Rivers? The Giants put another point on the scoreboard Sunday.

There were many amazing things about the Giants’ come from behind win over the New England Patriots in Foxborough, notably the plays made from Eli Manning to Jake Ballard to win the game. But NOTHING I could share with you would be as good as the footage of Michael Strahan celebrating the win while the cameras were “off” at FOX…

During the Sunday Night Football halftime show, Bob Costas pointed out that Ballard’s number (85) was the same number worn by David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII. Pretty good.

(Puts on “Superfriends” announcer voice)

“MEANWHILE….IN SAN DIEGO….”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPr0Z4q_vXk

Phillip Rivers nearly figured out a way to beat the NFC (and NFL)’s best team. The reason why he “nearly” figured it out is because part of beating the best team in the the league is NOT repeatedly throwing the ball to them.

I feel like Aaron Rodgers is getting dangerously close to “so good we can’t possibly like him” territory by the way.

4. You only get to win a “Game of the Century” every now and then, so I’m pretty LSU doesn’t care how ugly things were Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.

And now we deal with the fact that we might well have to see the Tigers face Alabama again in the BCS Championship Game if Oklahoma State and Stanford falter.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a great game even if it wasn’t always beautiful to look at. LSU now has the fast track to a national title and it’s hard to imagine anyone not named Alabama beating them.

5. While Kellen Moore has done no wrong, Andrew Luck can clinch the Heisman Trophy next week against Oregon.

Kellen Moore wasn’t necessarily brilliant, but he surpassed Colt McCoy as the all-time winningest quarterback in NCAA history in Boise State’s win at UNLV…

Kellen Moore’s season only remains interesting however if Luck begins to stumble. Their national TV (ABC) game Saturday night against Oregon will be Luck’s chance to follow up on his performance against USC with a “clincher”. Probably. He had some early struggles, but was good again Saturday against Oregon State…

Trent Richardson remains third on my list-but he’s currently third on a list of two. Case Keenum heads the “others receiving votes” category.

6. Tim Tebow we love you again…at least for now.

Tim Tebow by no means beat the Oakland Raiders on his own (Denver Broncos teammates Willis McGahee, Eddie Royal & Eric Decker certainly helped), but what the hell do we care about anyone who plays in the Mile High City not named Tim Tebow?

By the way, the Broncos are only a game out of first place in the AFC West. And thank God the Raiders solved all of their problems by trading for Carson Palmer.

7. The New York Jets have bounced back well enough that Rex Ryan should say something idiotic any moment now.

The Jets kicked the Buffalo Bills’ asses Sunday in Orchard Park. Instead of showing the highlights, let’s all laugh at Mark Sanchez flinching when lined up out wide against Drayton Florence…

That’s more humorous than Ashton Kutcher on “Two & A Half Men.” But then again, what isn’t?

There’s a mess atop the AFC East, as these teams and the Pats all have three losses. I hope they all end up with six personally.

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The 15-7-0 Might Be Tricky, But It’s Always A Treat

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The 15-7-0 Might Be Tricky, But It’s Always A Treat

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. With the entire country winning, Andrew Luck looked like a Heisman Trophy winner and future #1 pick Saturday night in Los Angeles.

It’s a shame the USC Trojans gave the ball away just outside the endzone in overtime number three against Stanford. Not only because I picked the Cardinal to lose last Thursday when I played John Allen (of Charm City Devils fame) in “Everybody Beats Glenn”, but also because it was a hell of a game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx7vpD_D4g0[/youtube]

I’ll go ahead and move Luck ahead of Boise State QB Kellen Moore on my Heisman Watch list. Yeah, I guess I’m a sellout. But it’s hard not to like what you see with this kid. Alabama RB Trent Richardson is third on my list; which now ends at three because one of those guys will be your winner.

Going back to Saturday night, Andrew Luck also did this…

luck

2. Marvin Lewis is (very deservingly) the winningest coach in Cincinnati Bengals history.

I get more and more concerned about the Ravens’ pending matchups with the Bengals every time I watch them…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0an-M9us5Y[/youtube]

They did all of that without Cedric Benson and they were playing the Seahawks IN Seattle.

By the way, did you know Adam “Pacman” Jones was still in the NFL? Me neither.

3. I’ll assume Frank Gore is particularly happy to no longer be thought of as “the best player on a bad team.”

Also part of the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the Cleveland Browns? Joe Staley playing the role of “Offensive Lineman” in “Offensive Lineman makes catch, runs with football”….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDTJcYX4hQA[/youtube]

Just beautiful. By the way, I guess the Niners have to be number two in my new NFL power rankings, right? How’s that possible?

4. Penn State controls their own destiny to reach the Big Ten Championship Game, but their schedule leads you to believe Ohio State is still very much in the mix.

Joe Paterno passed Eddie Robinson as the all-time winningest coach in Division I history as Penn State beat Illinois. It was the only time the word “pass” was used in Happy Valley Saturday. I don’t care for much of anything about the Nittany Lions, but I respect their students for packing in behind the goalposts to try to make the Illini’s tying field goal try harder…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-4XhbiILGI[/youtube]

Things get VERY difficult for PSU now, as they host Nebraska in State College next week before finishing conference play with trips to Columbus and Madison. Speaking of which…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwuXzK5Mehs[/youtube]

Wisconsin fans were once again hoping a penalty flag could save them, but Braxton Miller did NOT cross the line of scrimmage before throwing the game winner to Devin Smith. Russell Wilson’s Heisman hopes are totally up in smoke, and the Badgers are now a long shot (at best) for the Rose Bowl, while the Buckeyes are still very much in the picture.

5. Nebraska is firmly back in the race for the Other spot in the Big Ten title game, and Michigan is by no means out of the picture.

Michigan State had no magic left after an incredible two weeks-or more realistically had no answer for some dude named Rex Burkhead, who reportedly plays for the Cornhuskers…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiYLzEwG16Y[/youtube]

Elsewhere in the world of bizarre football names, the Wolverines stomped Purdue thanks to a running back whose name is (seriously) Fitzgerald Toussaint. Shouldn’t he be playing for Dartmouth?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXTWG9xmjgs[/youtube]

Not part of the Big Ten title picture? Iowa. They lost to Minnesota. Yes. That Minnesota.

6. Stephen Tulloch may have shut down the internet after sacking Tim Tebow in the Detroit Lions’ win over the Denver Broncos.

We’ll start with the highlights…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc7Zp6FdEVU[/youtube]

And now for those that missed it in the video…

tulloch

I like Tim Tebow. I also like this. It is what it is.

7. I guess we can assume the Philadelphia Eagles are just fine at this point.

The Eagles DESTROYED the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Sadly the highlight of the game was a Laurent Robinson catch that didn’t count at all…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FwDZz-a6r8[/youtube]

The SNF broadcast was obsessed with Philly O-Line coach Howard Mudd. I actually have no issue with that. Howard Mudd is awesome. Otherwise they’d have been obsessed with Rob Ryan, and I’m about done with that.

Also of note, Jason Kelce snapped the ball off his own ass at one point…

kelce

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The 15-7-0 Might Not Be Statue-Worthy As Of Now, But Give It Time

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The 15-7-0 Might Not Be Statue-Worthy As Of Now, But Give It Time

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. If there are any tickets left for Towson-Delaware next Saturday at Unitas Stadium, get them now.

There was no 4th & 29 miracle this time around, just a good old fashioned butt kicking of William & Mary for Terrence West and the Tigers…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVkKMq_T-Lw[/youtube]

And now Towson has an undefeated record in the CAA (they’re tied with Maine for first place) and returns home to face the Blue Hens Saturday night.

I might go as Rob Ambrose for Halloween this year. He’s created more magic than Harry Potter.

2. I don’t think much of the “Tebow Time” monicker, but I’m happy for the kid.

I mean, I get it. Tim Tebow leads comebacks in consecutive games, so the late moments of games involving Tebow will now be known as “Tebow Time”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcHoQupXhX8[/youtube]

I’m trying to figure out 67 more ways to put the word “Tebow” in this entry.

Yes, the Denver Broncos were TERRIBLE for most of their win over the lifeless Miami Dolphins. Who cares? Tebow was a winner, so America has a week to repeat his name over and over and over and over and over and over.

Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow Tebow.

tebow

Demaryius Thomas was so excited about Tebow’s performance he decided to plant one on his quarterback…

tebow

That’s just plain beautiful.

3. Christian Ponder had a nice day and all, but Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson play for the Green Bay Packers. Who did you think was going to win?

At least things were interesting enough that you get the feeling the Packers MIGHT somehow be vulnerable. Maybe.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_fH_BhNjMg[/youtube]

Brian Robison did something to TJ Lang during the game that made everyone in America uncomfortable…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut1fPdSRsuQ[/youtube]

Oh. Oh…

4. It absolutely takes more time, but the end of the Wisconsin-Michigan State game was a reminder of how crucial it is to review every scoring play.

We should start by saying “thank God the replay officials in East Lansing got this one right”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek3yw6zADls[/youtube]

Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan still have the greatest “Hail Mary” of all time (and I’ll assume Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook are still second on the list), but this was pretty awesome.

We can also all agree that if Russell Wilson and the Badgers had seen the ball again they would have won, right?

I’m certainly convinced of it.

5. Every establishment in Lubbock will now have a picture of Seth Doege with the words “his money is no good here” below it.

I’m not sure if you stayed up late enough (the game ended at about 1:30am) to watch all of Texas Tech-Oklahoma, but it turned out to be a really good game…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PkQF3aqFg0[/youtube]

Apparently the Red Raiders didn’t get the memo that no one EVER beats the Sooners in Norman.

While OU is likely done (as far as the BCS Championship picture is concerned), their “Bedlam” date with Oklahoma State still looms large in the title picture after the Cowboys got another brilliant performance from QB Brandon Weeden in a win over Missouri.

By the way, Brandon Weeden is my age. Does that mean I still have a future in football?

6. There are four playoff spots to be had between the NFC North and NFC South. Because of this, the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons picked up HUGE wins.

The Bears went to London and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who never really looked in sync. This is why I never want to see the Ravens play across the pond…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdU34oGYJOg[/youtube]

The game involved a Matt Forte run that was so brutal it made two Bucs players run into each other…

forte

The Detroit Lions have now lost back to back home games after falling to the Falcons Sunday at Ford Field…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxS6k6TlQBM[/youtube]

The Lions have serious rushing issues, but still have Calvin Johnson. That should mean they’ll be okay. Miraculously for the Falcons, Matt Ryan survived a brutal hit in this one and came back to finish the game. That should mean they’ll be okay as well.

Also in this game, Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez passed Marvin Harrison for the 2nd most receptions in history, only behind Jerry Rice.

That’s actually really amazing.

7. Rex Ryan may be a lunatic, but on Sunday he was at least a victorious lunatic.

I like to think I appreciate a level of refreshing honesty from a head coach, but for some reason Rex just tends to come off as more of a horses’s ass than anything…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIEcgaR22WE[/youtube]

Plaxico Burress is 6’5″. It must be nice for the New York Jets to have a capable receiver that size. There isn’t one of those in Baltimore, and the Ravens still have to face the San Diego Chargers later in the season themselves.

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The Ledge: Lions, Sparano, BCS Contenders & NBA Fans

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The Ledge: Lions, Sparano, BCS Contenders & NBA Fans

Posted on 24 October 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

When great expectations collide with poor performances fans tend to find themselves at the ledge. It’s that fan purgatory where blood pressure always seems to be rising and the sky always seems to be falling. Let’s take a look outside to see who’s on the ledge this week:

 

 

 

The Detroit Lions – Losers now of two straight, the Lions could surely use some good publicity to take some of the spotlight away from coach Jim Schwartz’ loss of decorum during his post game exchange with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh immediately following the Lions first loss of the season. Getting into a pre-game dust up with the Falcons probably isn’t going to do it, nor is Ndamukong Suh going to do much for his quickly devolving reputation for antics by standing over Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan while heaping on celebratory trash talk and reveling in Ryan’s apparent injury.

 

Beating the reeling Falcons away from the safety of the Georgia Dome would have been a nice feather in the Lions’ cap, but yesterday’s loss to those Falcons 23-16 may instead serve as a real stumbling block to the Lions potential playoff fortunes. Having seen the Packers run their record to 7-0 with a win on Sunday, the Lions can now look to the NFC wildcard as their most likely passage into the playoffs. As the also-rans of the AFC South look to be fighting for the very same, the Lions may have lost an important tiebreaker on Sunday.

 

Either way their running game is in apparent shambles, the failed Ronnie Brown trade looks to hurt a lot and the oft injured Matthew Stafford may have gone down to injury on the last play of Sunday’s game to boot.

 

Prognosis: Hang tight Lions fans. Next up: @ Denver, Bye, @ Chicago & vs. Carolina before a Thanksgiving Day showdown with Green Bay. There’s plenty of time to right the ship.

 

 

Tony Sparano – Sunday’s game at Miami against the Broncos might have felt like the whole world (or at least the whole stadium) vs. Tony Sparano. And for a while it looked as though Sparano might have won.

 

The coach surely began the season on the hot seat, and if Jim Harbaugh had been compelled to take his talents to South Beach there may have been no seat at all for Sparano. There clearly has been no quarterback for Sparano and the Dolphins since making due with Chad Pennington to moderate success in 2008.

 

Sunday though was strange. Tim Tebow, making his debut for the Broncos this season, enjoyed a great deal of crowd favor from those who showed up to celebrate Tebow’s 2008 Florida Gators National Championship team, and most Dolphins fans it seems have succumbed to the “suck for Luck” philosophy that wins at this point will only inhibit their chances at the top pick in next year’s draft.

 

As Tebow was crossing the goal with the game tying 2-point conversion, fans of both teams (plentiful in Miami on Sunday) seemed united in their hopes that Sparano and his Dolphins would find a way to lose…and they did. Everyone but Sparano left happy (or at least appeased).

 

Prognosis: Prepare to be pushed Tony Sparano. Your boy Bill Parcells bailed on you already, and the only purpose you’re serving at present is to be the means to a 0-16 season that will deliver Andrew Luck and likely the next head coach as well. No need for the Dolphins to rush that move though, they can save money now and keep the new guy from being associated with this ongoing mess.

 

 

NBA Fans – The NBA lockout got shock value attention courtesy of Bryant Gumbel last week, they got impartial mediation courtesy of the federal government and they got the best wishes of seemingly every fan still clinging to hopes of an NBA season at all this year. The end result, talks broke off at an apparent impasse with not only no apparent resolution in sight, but it seems there aren’t even any official plans to continue the talks as yet. The players are into the “making plans” phase of taking their talents to wherever paychecks are imminent and many owners seem contented to let the whole season go un-played, and David Stern will probably cancel Christmas this week.

 

Prognosis: Hang tight; college basketball is just around the corner. Accept the fact that there probably won’t be an NBA season and get over it. That way if there is one you’ll be imminently happy but you won’t waste any time, energy or emotion sweating it out in the meanwhile.

 

 

Clemson, Stanford & Boise State – It’s that time of year again too. The national championship picture is down to 7 teams after undefeated Oklahoma and Wisconsin fell last weekend. For those 7 teams, their chance at a national title just became a lot more real, and suddenly a lot more important too.

 

In fairness, it’s probably only 5 of the 7 legitimate title contenders that are seeing the championship picture with more clarity this week, as it’s been all but ordained that the winner of the SEC’s loaded western division would roll though the conference title game and into the BCS National Championship game as a result. For weeks we’ve been touting the LSU and Alabama winner as one half of the title picture at least, that part hasn’t changed.

 

What has changed is the likelihood that the Big-12 winner would get the other side of that bracket as that may be suddenly not be so likely. The Big-12 still has 2 undefeated teams in Oklahoma State (3rd in the BCS) and Kansas State (8th in the BCS) but both still have to play each other and a still strong Oklahoma team now relegated to the role of spoiler. Oklahoma State also still has Baylor with Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III and the Texas Tech team that just beat Oklahoma on their schedule and Kansas State has Texas and Texas A&M still remaining too.

 

Mathematically there could still be 5 undefeated powers left at season’s end (but likely won’t be). Where the ones who don’t reside in the SEC shake out should be quite interesting and is still very much up in the air right now.

 

Prognosis: If you’re a fan of any one of the three listed in the title, you might as well jump as no matter which team you side with, the odds are stacked against you. Beware though that if you do, you’ll surely miss out on an exciting and controversial finish to the college football season.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 18 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Nonito Donaire vs. Omar Narvaez (Saturday 10:30pm from New York live on HBO); Soccer: MLS-Portland Timbers @ DC United (Wednesday 8pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet), Sporting Kansas City @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS); College Soccer: Penn State @ UMBC (Wednesday 7pm Retriever Soccer Park); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 55 (Saturday 9pm from Yuma, AZ live on MTV2); High School Football: Perry Hall @ Woodlawn (Friday 7pm), Dunbar @ Poly (7pm), Archbishop Spalding @ Calvert Hall (7pm); Rugby World Cup Bronze Medal Match: Wales vs. Australia (Friday 3:30am from Auckland, New Zealand live on Universal Sports), Final: France vs. New Zealand (Sunday 3pm from Auckland, New Zealand on NBC); Canadian Football League: Montreal Alouettes @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday 3pm from Winnipeg live on NFL Network)

10. Dirty Heads/Gym Class Heroes (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Jayhawks (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), Ani Difranco (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), New Found Glory (Sunday 5:30pm Rams Head Live), Mat Kearney (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mike Posner (Thursday 7pm Recher Theatre); J Cole (Thursday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Blind Boys of Alabama (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Stephen Stills (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Dick Dale (Saturday 12:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Little River Band (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Jason Isbell (Friday 10pm 9:30 Club), Taking Back Sunday (Saturday 11pm 9:30 Club); Wale (Saturday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); “Weird Al” Yankovic (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre), Jackson Browne (Sunday 7pm Warner Theatre); India.Arie (Saturday 8pm Strathmore); Martina McBride (Sunday 7pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome); Coldplay “Mylo Xyloto, Jane’s Addiction “The Great Escape Artist” available on iTunes/in stores (Tuesday); Pearl Jam 20 available on DVD (Tuesday)

I’ve had my ass kicked a bit over not being more familiar with the Jayhawks until recently. They’re quite good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBGX_z6xuVU[/youtube]

The name Dick Dale might not mean a lot to you, but if you listen to “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net (and why wouldn’t you?), you’d be familiar with the theme to “Totally Tubular.” (Someone will yell at me for not also noting that Dick Dale is one of the greatest surf guitarists of all time. I’ve handled that now.)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5OHrQYwRac[/youtube]

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg introduced me to Jason Isbell (of Drive-By Truckers fame) perhaps without even realizing he had. I’m thankful.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V_vBPaI1d0[/youtube]

I’d love to be like the rest of the world and just make fun of Coldplay, but DAMN they make good music…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Kf_6BWcOOg[/youtube]

9. Brad Garrett (Thursday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Lewis Black (Saturday 8pm Lyric Opera House Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Paul Mooney (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Dave Attell (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide” and “Bad Teacher” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); Maryland Renaissance Festival final weekend (Saturday & Sunday RennFest Fairgrounds Crownsville)

There are few people in the world that GENUINELY make me laugh. Lewis Black is one of those people. (Language NSFW…unless you work in Lewis Black’s office of course.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mCDZMWVWuc[/youtube]

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